Hands-on Gameful Design: Creating Autonomy
Concurrent Session 7
In this express workshop, participants will learn the principles of gameful design, strategize for how to integrate autonomy into a course as well as use a tool called GradeCraft designed specifically to support gameful courses.
As educators strive to find new ways to create meaningful and personalized learning experiences at scale, designers are looking outside the traditional classroom for inspiration. Gameful course design is an instructional design practice grounded in self-determination theory that takes inspiration in what makes games motivating (Ryan & Deci, 2000). In contrast to gamification, gameful focuses on the motivational structures rather than game mechanics. By building autonomy, scaffolding competency and creating connections in the classroom, courses using gameful strategies encourage student effort, create pathways for student agency in learning as well as increase student engagement (Aguilar, Holman & Fishman, 2018, Jang, Kim & Reeve, 2016).
One small step for going gameful is to integrate structured autonomy supportive assessment structures into a class. While many instructors are familiar with the idea of giving choice in the topic of a paper building choice, it is a small step. Giving students the ability to make choices about the method and weighting of their assessments presents opportunities for students to take ownership of their learning. However, models of assessment like the cafeteria style or ala carte grading at any kind of scale may seem overwhelming for instructors and students alike (Arendt, Trego & Allred, 2016; Hanewicz, Platt, & Arendt, 2017).
In this hands-on express workshop, we will introduce the concept of what it means to construct a gamefully designed course, focusing primarily on how to build choice and autonomy into the course design. Using the tools developed at the University of Michigan for designing for autonomy, participants will have an opportunity to plan for a gameful segment of a class. We will also introduce an online tool called GradeCraft, which allows educators to build out categories of assignments that build up from zero and give students the constrained flexibility to make choices about how they are assessed, as well as provide options for other technologies to support gameful practices. Finally, participants will receive some tips on how to explain gameful to their students.
Aguilar, S. J., Holman, C., & Fishman, B. J. (2018). Game-inspired design: Empirical evidence in support of gameful learning environments. Games and Culture, 13(1), 44-70.
Arendt, A., Trego, A., & Allred, J. (2016). Students reach beyond expectations with cafeteria style grading. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, 8(1), 2–17. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-03-2014-0048
Hanewicz, C., Platt, A., & Arendt, A. (2017). Creating a learner-centered teaching environment using student choice in assignments. Distance Education, 38(3), 273–287. https://doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2017.1369349
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being, 55(1), 68–78.